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SAP Central Finance (CFIN) – AIF Error handling approach

In any central finance project when the transition happens from project to BAU/Support/AMS the key question raised is – who will do AIF error analysis and resolution. In this blog the focus is not on technical or data standpoint on HOW to solve errors rather an approach to solve errors is discussed.

The scope gets widen when the number of source systems are high and there are several AMS teams working to maintain those source systems along with several data and business teams. Let’s talk about how to approach and plan, of course things may change with the situation of client and organizational structure but the concept should survive.

Preparation:

  • There should be a Central Monitoring Team (CMT) who should check the errors in AIF on daily basis. Team size depends on:
    • Volume of Data
    • Number of source systems
    • Flavour of source systems – SAP or Non SAP
    • How master data flow is managed – manually, several tools or centralized tool
  • CMT should have access to SAP as well as access to AIF (transaction – /n/AIF/IFMON)

This can be provided by adding user ID to below transaction:

Transaction – /n/AIF/RECIPIENTS

Put user name

Add new entry with /FINCF namespace

  • Team should be trained on use of AIF monitor
  • Documentation/SOPs should be maintained for errors to ensure knowledge is retained within the organization. Preference is to have an online tool for recording error and resolution details

Execution:

Now we will discuss about how the error needs to be handled and resolved but before that let’s talk about the type of errors that can appear:

  • Data Error – Master data missing in CFIN system
  • Mapping error – Master data is present in source and CFIN system but not mapped
  • Functional error – Related to configuration
  • Technical error – Related to Database, memory, performance, SLT etc

Let’s discuss in detail each of them:

  • Data Error: – When document is posted in source and failed in CFIN due to the missing master data then it’s clear that the master data is present in source (as document is posted) but data needs to be created in CFIN system. Such error needs to be sent to the data management team who are responsible to create master data in CFIN system and once data is created the mapping should be updated.
  • Mapping Error: – When document is posted in source system but it does not find the mapping in CFIN system it goes into error. The CMT needs to contact the team responsible for mappings of objects (master data or configuration) and mappings needs to be updated.
  • Functional Error: – When the document replication is in issue due to some configuration issue (it can be any core area of SAP) then the CMT needs to contact the IT support team of either source system or CFIN system depending on how the AMS is organized. It can be same team or different teams
  • Technical Error: – When the document replication is in issue due to some core technical issue then the CMT needs to contact the IT support team of either source system or CFIN system depending on how the AMS is organized. It can be same team or different teams

After the error is resolved the message in AIF needs to be restarted. After restart it may be a success that can result in posting of a document or it can fail due to new error. Then based on error the process needs to be restarted.

Analysis of errors:

The AIF Manager needs to understand SAP Finance so that he/she should be able to classify the nature of error and work with the right team accordingly. In lot of instances it is seen that the source business team may not access CFIN so it’s wise to have first level review by the AIF manager and approach towards the resolution.

AIF Manager also should be aware of the message icon

Making things easy:

There are few ways which can make the AIF process easy as the people, systems and processes get matured. Some technical ways are:

  • Classifying errors by objects – In AIF errors can be classified by object so its easy to filter and resolve. It looks like this:

  • Sending emails to authorized/responsible team – AIF can send emails as and when error comes. So it makes job of AIF manager easy
  • Tool tip – SAP provides option where in a message we can add the details on the reason, resolution etc. so if same message appears again it can be easily dealt with.

Any questions or suggestion – Feel free to reach out…

Happy reading.

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